A schizophrenic military man, Martin, with heavy PTSD is holed-up in his family’s cabin when his brother and sister eventually come to have an intervention for him. Foil on the windows and constant talk of a pod and military experiment on him as well as others only convinces his brother further that he needs help now while his sister is starting to take his side and believe him. As Martin talks of having the pod trapped in the basement, things escalate quickly.
Pod was written and directed by Mickey Keating who does mostly horror fare such as Ultra Violence, Ritual, and the recent Darling. Here Keating creates a trio of lead characters that feel almost real. They care and argue like siblings, they interest like normal human beings. They are not quire characters you would want to be friends with but their reactions and actions in the odd situation they are put in are realistic. The dialogue is natural, with one character pulling all the crazy stops and one trying to save him, while the third is trying to rationalize the situation. As his sister and brother, the audience is pushed to make a choice; that choice, on whether Martin is crazy or not, will influence which of the other two siblings one sides with.
Playing these three main characters are Brian Morvant as Martin, Dean Cates as Ed, and Lauren Ashley Carter as Lyla. Each of these three leads offer nuanced performances, Brian Morvant having the meatiest part as the schizophrenic army veteran who is convinced something is coming to get him. He brings a lot to the part, making a convincing case of is he crazy, is he not out of his screen time. Supporting him and his story are his siblings who really are leads for a good part of the movie as they are followed closely. The actor and actress chosen for these two parts are clearly talented and don’t over act even when things get a bit crazy.
As the whole story revolves around the titular pod, which will not be given away here, it must be said that the effects, paired with the lighting and how its shot, give the “pod” a great and scary look. It doesn’t not redesign or reinvent this type of effects but it works very well. The effects in this movie may be mostly kept to this item but it shows talent. The “pod” is not afraid to show itself when the time comes for its reveal and to show off the good work of the team behind it. The rest of the effects involve fake blood and a few body horrors while looking quite realistic and cringe worthy.
Pod is a low budget sci-fi film with horror elements that is worth seeing as its entertaining and the leads will capture the viewer’s attention while the titular “pod” will mystify until its reveal. It’s not a straight up horror film as it has sci-fi elements, but it will satisfy the horror fans looking for some scare and some very good effects.